Senator Chiz Escudero was standing by his long-standing position against new taxes when he voted against the passage of the sin tax bill.
Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, was one of the two senators who voted against the sin tax bill, which was deliberated on the Senate plenary on Tuesday.
“In my 15 years in both chambers of Congress, I have always espoused a no new taxes position. I believe that we have not yet exhausted all avenues to collect the revenues due our government,” the senator said.
Escudero, who also slammed the proposal of International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde to impose a tax on text messages, said the need to raise revenues for public services should not become a burden on the public that stands to benefit from it.
“I always say that any moves or plans to impose new taxes should be approached with extra caution. Before we even consider new taxes, we should first look at the present conditions such as strengthening the collection efficiency of our revenue-generating agencies and running after those who have been evading their obligations to the government collection agencies,” the senator said.
But despite his vote, Escudero said he fully supports the government’s objectives to address public health needs.
“I may have voted against the measure but with the voice of the majority winning, I wish the government well and wish them success in addressing primary health care challenges through higher spending. With PNoy at the helm, I am of the belief that this program will be judiciously allocated for the intended beneficiaries,”Escudero said.